Expedia plans Wotif takeover

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 12:55 21/07/2014

Relevant offers

News

How to protect your data in hotels, airports and other public spaces when travelling Kellogg's cereal cafe to snap, crackle and pop into Times Square A couple is raffling off their tropical island resort - and it could be yours for just $51 'Marlburian welcome' gets a revamp with new entrance signage Travel dilemmas: Tips on tipping Saudi Arabia mulling Six Flags American theme parks Istanbul airport attack: Airports are 'soft targets', expert says Fifteen lessons every global traveller learns in their 20s Southland tourism operators urged to cater for tech-savvy travellers Top tips for getting a cheap flight

The Commerce Commission will run its ruler over Expedia's planned A$700 (NZ$755.7m) million acquisition of fellow accommodation booking service Wotif.

The competition watchdog said it had received an application for the takeover from United States-based Expedia and expected to decide within about two weeks whether to let it acquire the New Zealand assets of Australian-based Wotif.

Expedia is not believed to be as widely used in New Zealand as Wotif, but the proposed merger of the online booking intermediaries has raised hackles in some quarters because of fears it might lead to a rise in fees paid by hotels and motels.

Chris Parkin, owner of Wellington's Museum Hotel, said when the acquisition was first proposed last month that Expedia charged hotels a 15 per cent to 25 per cent commission on bookings placed through its website, versus Wotif's fee of about 12 per cent.

Online booking companies generally demand that accommodation providers do not advertise prices lower than those offered through their websites. However, Parkin said it was a "given" that travellers could get the best deal by calling accommodation providers and booking direct.

A Commerce Commission spokeswoman said it only had jurisdiction over the New Zealand elements of the proposed takeover, but both Expedia and Wotif had offices in New Zealand and contracted locally.

Expedia had separately sought approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to take over Wotif's Australian business, she said.

In the event that the Commerce Commission declined approval for the takeover, Wotif might need to find an alternative way to divest its New Zealand assets, she said.

"I expect it is something we will get quite a lot of submissions on."

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content